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Daily Archives: December 28, 2017

Crowdsourcing accurately and robustly predicts Supreme Court decisions

Crowdsourcing accurately and robustly predicts Supreme Court decisions. Daniel Martin Katz, Michael James Bommarito II, Josh Blackman. arXiv:1712.03846 [physics.soc-ph]

“Scholars have increasingly investigated “crowdsourcing” as an alternative to expert-based judgment or purely data-driven approaches to predicting the future. Under certain conditions, scholars have found that crowdsourcing can outperform these other approaches. However, despite interest in the topic and a series of successful use cases, relatively few studies have applied empirical model thinking to evaluate the accuracy and robustness of crowdsourcing in real-world contexts. In this paper, we offer three novel contributions. First, we explore a dataset of over 600,000 predictions from over 7,000 participants in a multi-year tournament to predict the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States. Second, we develop a comprehensive crowd construction framework that allows for the formal description and application of crowdsourcing to real-world data. Third, we apply this framework to our data to construct more than 275,000 crowd models. We find that in out-of-sample historical simulations, crowdsourcing robustly outperforms the commonly-accepted null model, yielding the highest-known performance for this context at 80.8% case level accuracy. To our knowledge, this dataset and analysis represent one of the largest explorations of recurring human prediction to date, and our results provide additional empirical support for the use of crowdsourcing as a prediction method.”

16 major environmental protections cut in 2017

Elizabeth Shogren – High Country News: “President Donald Trump has spent the past year steadily undoing Obama-era environmental protections, especially rules designed to fight climate change. By law, agencies must go through a lengthy process to rescind or rewrite many rules, but executive orders and other policies are easier to erase. Some of the rollbacks… Continue Reading

Highest Paid CEOs in 2017

24/7 Wall St:  “…The typical CEO of such a company earns $11 million a year — nearly 200 times the $57,617 the typical American household earns a year. The stark difference in compensation only appears to be growing wider. CEO pay increased by 6% in 2016, compared to a 3% increase in earnings for the… Continue Reading

Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews & Journals

Rostron, Allen and Levit, Nancy, Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews & Journals (July 28, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1019029 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1019029 – “This document contains information about submitting articles to law reviews and journals, including the methods for submitting an article, any special formatting requirements, how to contact them to request an expedited… Continue Reading

New IRS guideline on prepaying your property tax

Prepaying Your Property Tax? I.R.S. Cautions It Might Not Pay Off – “…The tax bill that President Trump signed into law last week sharply limited the itemized deductions for state and local taxes while raising the standard deduction for individuals and couples. Those rules do not take effect until 2018, however. That has led some… Continue Reading

Supreme Court and Law Enforcement Access to Cell Phone Location Data

EFF: “Protecting the highly personal location data stored on or generated by digital devices is one of the 21st century’s most important privacy issues. In 2017, the Supreme Court finally took on the question of how law enforcement can get ahold of this sensitive information…EFF filed briefs both encouraging the court to take the case… Continue Reading

Key trends shaping technology in 2017

“In the past year, Pew Research Center has explored a range of tech-related topics in the news – from online harassment to fake news to net neutrality. Here are some key findings from our research on these and other technology issues.” Continue Reading